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By Matt R
From Downingtown, PA
Apr 2, 2013
I read the thread about spotting (it's on the bottom of page one or the top of page 2) and it made a question pop into my mind -- How do you fall with a spotter and without a spotter? Do you fall the same way? Is there a set way so that you don't break some bone in your body? What is a safe fall versus a non-safe fall?

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By Tanner Wixom
From Grand Junction, CO
Apr 2, 2013
Sending Millennium Falcon
I think it depends on what kind of terrain you're falling onto and the position you're in when you pop off. There are so many scenarios that it would be impossible to prescribe a good fall that fits everyone of them. That being said, I think there are some general guidelines:

  • Always be aware of potential falls. In other words, think about the problem before you get on it and identify all the different risky falls you could take. Pay special attention if the beta requires a high heel hook or a toe hook. Anytime your feet go out from under you, you need to have a plan for what you're going to do if you should pop off at an inopportune moment. You should be ready to fall on those parts. Being prepared to fall could potentially keep you from pushing your hardest, but weigh it out before hand. If the move is really that close to the edge of your ability that you might fall on your head, shouldn't you maybe come back to the problem later when you're stronger? I would rather wait than risk a serious injury--just my opinion.

  • In general, the most important falling capability is to get your feet under you before you hit the ground. That's actually what good spotters help you do. A good spotter doesn't try to catch you and bear your weight. He/she should ease your fall as much as reasonably possible, but the main goal is to get your feet under you so your leg muscles can catch you and slow you down over a longer distance. So a good fall is a cat-like fall. Contort your body to reasonable extents to get your feet on the ground first. Obviously there are exceptions to this.

  • If you are going to fall on your torso, don't stick your hands out. This guideline depends A TON on what terrain your falling onto and from how high, but, in general, if your upper body is going to hit the ground, it's best for you to curl up and take it as often as possible. Sticking your hands out is a great way to break an arm or a wrist. However, if you're falling onto rocks or from high, you might be choosing between a broken arm or a broken back--take the broken arm. Obviously having plenty of pads gives you more options on how to fall.

  • Protect your head. Just about any other falling injury can be fixed, but not brain damage.

  • And in response to differences between when you have a spotter and when you don't, I don't think there should be a difference. You are normally at a much greater risk of injury as the person falling than the spotter is on the ground. Do what you have to to have a safe fall and hope your spotter is able to help. Don't count on them to direct you or save you. They are there to help you fall, but you have the responsibility to fall the best you can. If your spotter has a lapse in attention at the moment you fall, you wouldn't want to be depending on them to keep you safe. Do all you can to fall safely every time you fall. Your spotters need to take care of themselves--e.g. not stand where they can be knocked off a cliff, or jam their foot between two rocks so they break their ankle when they catch you. If it's too dangerous to spot you, then you might be on a really stupid problem to start with. Just always weigh risk before you commit yourself to any problem.

Anyway, sorry for writing a book, but I hope that helps a little. These are just my opinions. I'm very interested to see what other people think.

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By Matt R
From Downingtown, PA
Apr 2, 2013
Tanner Wixom wrote:
I think it depends on what kind of terrain you're falling onto and the position you're in when you pop off. There are so many scenarios that it would be impossible to prescribe a good fall that fits everyone of them. That being said, I think there are some general guidelines: * Always be aware of potential falls. In other words, think about the problem before you get on it and identify all the different risky falls you could take. Pay special attention if the beta requires a high heel hook or a toe hook. Anytime your feet go out from under you, you need to have a plan for what you're going to do if you should pop off at an inopportune moment. You should be ready to fall on those parts. Being prepared to fall could potentially keep you from pushing your hardest, but weigh it out before hand. If the move is really that close to the edge of your ability that you might fall on your head, shouldn't you maybe come back to the problem later when you're stronger? I would rather wait than risk a serious injury--just my opinion. * In general, the most important falling capability is to get your feet under you before you hit the ground. That's actually what good spotters help you do. A good spotter doesn't try to catch you and bear your weight. He/she should ease your fall as much as reasonably possible, but the main goal is to get your feet under you so your leg muscles can catch you and slow you down over a longer distance. So a good fall is a cat-like fall. Contort your body to reasonable extents to get your feet on the ground first. Obviously there are exceptions to this. * If you are going to fall on your torso, don't stick your hands out. This guideline depends A TON on what terrain your falling onto and from how high, but, in general, if your upper body is going to hit the ground, it's best for you to curl up and take it as often as possible. Sticking your hands out is a great way to break and arm or a wrist. However, if you're falling onto rocks or from high, you might be choosing between a broken arm or a broken back--take the broken arm. Obviously having plenty of pads gives you more options on how to fall. * Protect your head. Just about any other falling injury can be fixed, but not brain damage. * And in response to differences between when you have a spotter and when you don't, I don't think there should be a difference. You are normally at a much greater risk of injury as the person falling than the spotter is on the ground. Do what you have to to have a safe fall and hope your spotter is able to help. Don't count on them to direct you or save you. They are there to help you fall, but you have the responsibility to fall the best you can. If your spotter has a lapse in attention at the moment you fall, you wouldn't want to be depending on them to keep you safe. Do all you can to fall safely every time you fall. Your spotters need to take care of themselves--e.g. not stand where they can be knocked off a cliff, or jam their foot between two rocks so they break their ankle when they catch you. If it's too dangerous to spot you, then you might be on a really stupid problem to start with. Just always weigh risk before you commit yourself to any problem. Anyway, sorry for writing a book, but I hope that helps a little. These are just my opinions. I'm very interested to see what other people think.


I liked reading that novel. Thank you.

No really, in all seriousness, that was great. It cleared up most of my questions. So it really comes down to what you're falling on, how high, and if you know you'll fall at a certain spot, be careful. Got it. Thanks!

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By todd w
Apr 2, 2013
Fall?




I don't fall.

Ever.

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By Evan Sanders
From Westminster, CO
Apr 19, 2013
Flaming Pumpkin
todd w wrote:
Fall? I don't fall. Ever.


Fall? What is "fall"?

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